The African Cup of Nations takes place every two years, rather than the other major International competitions like the European Championships and the World Cup, which take place every four years.
Papiss Cisse – has been in sparkling form for Newcastle
And that means Premier League clubs lose some of their best players for six weeks, right in the middle of the season.
And with Senegal and Ivory Coast both in the top two of their respective qualifying groups, it looks like both countries will likely qualify for the 30th edition of the finals of the competition, to be held in Morocco for the second time from 17th January to 8th February next year.
Cheick will play for Ivory Coast in Abidjan against Group D leaders DR Congo on Wednesday night, and Papiss will play some part in Tunisia in a crucial game of Group G – with both countries currently tied on 7 points.
Papiss played in the second half of the 0-0 draw on Saturday night at home to Tunisia and Cheick played the whole game in the 2-1 win at DR Congo.
There are seven groups and the top two countries in each group qualify for the finals, with the best third placed team also going through along with the hosts Morocco. and it looks like Senegal and Ivory Coast are very likely to qualify.
We’ll just have to hope Newcastle are not in the relegation zone come January, and that we get a goalscorer in who can get some goals for us, because it looks like we will be missing Papiss for at least a month in January.
The players report to their training camps two weeks before the first game and that usually means they will play in the 3rd round of the FA Cup in early January, and then leave for the competition.
And if their countries do well they will not return to their clubs until after 8th February, which is when the final takes place.
And it’s a slack day of news for Newcastle today – we know that because for about the third time in four weekends, the top news is that Newcastle would like to sign Andy Carroll in January, and he will be offered to his previous club by West Ham United.
The Chronicle is also calling it an exclusive.
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